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Milkweed – The Right Stuff

October 25, 2018




to this milkweed 









to the red & orange




Did you know that Florida has 21 native species of the milkweed that is essential for monarch butterflies but only three are available from nurseries: They lay eggs on milkweed and it is the only food for monarch larvae. Black swallowtail caterpillars feeding on parsley are sometimes mistaken for monarchs, to which they bear a passing resemblance.


The Right Stuff – Milkweed beneficial to Monarchs. Read this Smithsonian article: “How This Popular Garden Plant May Spread Parasites That Harm Monarchs. Non-native tropical milkweed encourages year-round monarch populations which harbor a deadly parasite for the imperiled insect.”


Below is a photo of an iridescent atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala)  aka coontie hairstreak. Jane Higgins, in her riveting presentation at the September meeting mentioned them. Below are links to two fascinating pages you’ll enjoy. They are still considered rare, so be on the lookout and report sightings by emailing

Sandy Koi or Donald W. Hall, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida and authors of the “Featured Creatures” article.

Featured Creatures: The Atala Butterfly

interesting article from “Entomology Today”

A Nearly Extinct Butterfly Makes a Comeback in South Florida



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